A message claiming that the federal government will be providing a free ₹ 2,000 relief fund to each citizen of the country is doing rounds on social media. The message has a link (archived) which states that the users can ‘instantly claim’ the amount following a few steps in it. Let’s fact-check this claim.
Claim: The federal government will be providing ₹ 2,000 relief fund to each citizen of the country.
Fact: The link seen in the message is of a dubious website. The government is not providing ₹ 2,000 relief fund to each citizen. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Let’s check for clues and try to ascertain the authenticity of the message:
1. When the link (https://bit.ly/free—funds) in the post is opened, it is directed to a website (https://india-relief-funds.blogspot.com/). The address (domain) of this website is different from the website domain of government sites which generally end with ‘gov.in’ or ‘nic.in’.
2. Regardless of the number of times a person visits the website, the page will show the text– ‘Left 1936 FREE lockdown relief packages’.
3. Clicking on any of the options on the page, it displays packages offering ‘₹ 2,000, ₹ 5,000 (not available) and ₹ 10,000 (not available)’. Regardless of whatever option is chosen, it is directed to a page asking what the free Rs 2,000 amount will be used for.
4. After finishing the survey, comments are displayed. In them, the users have mentioned that they received benefits offered by the website. However, irrespective of the number of times the website is visited, the names of the ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘timestamp’ always remain the same. Also, the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ do not change.
5. At the end of the survey, the website asks users to share the website on WhatsApp groups to get the benefits. It is unlikely for a government website to include such steps for its schemes.
Earlier when a similar message went viral claiming the government will provide a free Rs 5,000 relief fund, FACTLY had debunked the claim.
To sum it up, a dubious website promises to provide a Rs 2,000 relief fund to each citizen.
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